I love that the knowledge of God is too deep to fathom yet is made simple enough for humans to understand. Sometimes while enjoying the simplicity, it’s easy to allow the familiar to overshadow the extraordinary. And John 5 reveals just that.
Jesus healed a man who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. Thirty. Eight. Years. He simply said, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk!” And the man did.
And the man did.
But as the world would have it, at least one group of people had to get their panties in a wad over Jesus doing something awesome.
The Jews were so consumed with studying the law and striving to keep the letter of the law that they completely missed the spirit of the law. They were blind to the miraculous happening right before their eyes. They allowed the familiar to overshadow the extraordinary. They allowed knowledge to outrank people. They allowed the words they studied to eclipse the One whom the words were written about. Instead of remembering that the prophecies were written in order for people to recognize the Messiah, they became entrapped in their ability to memorize scripture. A subtle yet dangerous shift.
The people of this day make me crazy! I cannot imagine seeing Jesus in the flesh, experiencing these miracles in real time, and watching numerous prophesies coming to fulfillment. This was exactly what and who they had been waiting for!
And they missed it.
Today’s lesson is short. It’s not complicated, but it does require some thought. We could spend quite a bit of time rehashing the faults of the Jews and Pharisees and Sadducees and so on. But instead, let’s ask ourselves these questions: How do I miss Jesus today? How do I normalize miracles based on what I think I know about God? And just like the Jews, how do I allow the familiar to overshadow the extraordinary?
Only you can answer these questions.
Let’s never become so complacent with miracles that we completely miss them. Let’s put God’s power above our understanding. I don’t want to be like the Jews, having someone read my story two thousand years later and wonder how in the world I missed the obvious. I want to recognize Jesus today.
Because while Jesus may become familiar, he is always doing the extraordinary. We just have to keep in mind the power of who, not what, we are looking for.
Sometimes we must be open to the possibility that God works outside our box.